What Gives Odour To Breast Milk?


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Julii Brainard answered
Because human milk is the sweetest of any mammalian milk, many people notice a slight sweetness to its scent. This is the most typical difference from cow's milk that most people are able to detect (besides being more sweet, it is also less fatty in taste than cow's milk).

Breast milk may absorb any smells that the mother's body is otherwise carrying or absorbing. That includes from food (like garlic or curry) or cosmetics (perfume, deodorant, soap, etc). Mother's who have strong natural body odour may pass on a trace of it into their milk, too.

As long as baby don't mind, none of these smell variations is a problem. Academic studies have found that babies don't seem to mind one bit.

Also, because it's an unpasteurised milk, it starts decaying (slowly!) as soon as it's out. If straight to destination (baby's tummy) that poses no health risk. But it needs to be handled carefully (fairly sterile conditions) and stored correctly (refridgerated in short run and frozen in long run) to be safe to use, otherwise. So some of the smell is the beginnings of it turning.

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